Research commissioned by Velocity Smart shows a third of employees still experiencing tech problems since working remotely that require hardware replacement
Technology has come to the rescue of many businesses since the world was flipped upside down, proving that ‘necessity is the mother of invention.
As huge swathes of the office-based global economy switched to remote working and reduced their daily commutes to mere metres in their own homes, a huge number of people began to balance their working hours around the demands of their home/personal lives.
And with 80% of the UK workforce expecting flexible and remote working to stay on the cards, what does this mean for already stretched tech support teams?
I think we can all agree that IT departments deserve huge recognition for their speedy turnaround in the past couple of years and for that we can give them a huge pat on the back, yet when it comes to replacement equipment, there's still a lot left to be desired.
Minimising employee downtime due to an IT failure was a constant challenge when the majority of the workforce was office based, now it has become an almost impossible (and costly) conundrum as workers can be spread over 100s, sometimes 1000s of miles.
We researched this very issue in our ‘Changing behaviours of a flexible workforce in 2022 and beyond’ report.The research investigated how offices will change in 2022 and beyond, and more specifically just how business leaders can support the future of IT support.
Using an independent research house, the results showed that, despite the obvious strain IT departments have been subjected to over the last two years, almost 4 in 10 UK workers (37%) actually said that support from their IT department has improved.
But it all comes crashing down when it comes to receiving fresh equipment, with a third of UK office workers (33%) experiencing problems with their workplace technology that requires replacement.
Time to get smart when replacing IT equipment
On average, it takes just over three days to receive replacement hardware from an IT department. Three whole days. Which often still requires some face to face interaction with IT consultants to access new or replacement hardware.
Over half of UK workers (52%) reported that they have to collect it themselves from the IT department, or a member of the IT support team delivers it by hand.
This needless interaction is both hugely frustrating to the IT support team who are acting as delivery men and women, and is a serious detriment to overall productivity.
Thankfully, it is not all doom and gloom. There are proven alternatives that are faster and preferred. In our 2020 survey, 19% of employees confirmed they would prefer to collect hardware from a smart locker – and for good reasons.
Smart lockers are not only the logical extension of the trend towards self-service access to IT services but with flexible working here to stay, companies need to adapt still further to support the extended workforce.
Employees can access the new kit within 45 minutes – rather than three days - minimising downtime and the impact on productivity. There is also a significant saving in time for support staff. It is more efficient on all fronts - yet a mere 1% UK companies are offering this option at present.
Now is the time for businesses to invest in more robust technology to support remote teams in the long term.